A NOTE FROM LYN about her presentation:

Come with me now to watch the pictures of a presentation I give regularly to show audiences of all ages what goes into the making of a book, in this case Tabasco’s book.

First, I show how I got into writing after I got engaged to David Hancock – on our first date – in a  tiny float plane studying  bald eagles on the west coast of Vancouver Island, a few days before I was to leave Canada to go home to Australia to teach speech and drama after several years travelling the world. I cancelled my boat trip, David postponed his university studies and we flew across to the other side of the world to get married. A few weeks later we were back in Canada and I immediately became a mother –  to my first wildlife orphan, Sam, a fur seal, washed ashore while migrating from his home in Alaska to California. My life with wild animals had  begun. My first book was THERE’S A SEAL IN MY SLEEPING BAG.

More wild orphans and more books followed. My 20th book is TABASCO THE SAUCY RACCOON. But my second book was about a raccoon as well – THERE’S A RACCOON IN MY PARKA – and that book tells the story of Rocky Raccoon who travelled with me in a little rubber boat between Victoria in British Columbia and the Pribilof Islands in Alaska.

The next steps in the production of a book are gathering together your diaries, your research, making an outline, and choosing a  dramatic beginning. If you, the reader is not interested in the first page, you won’t want to read page two. What do you think of how TABASCO THE SAUCY RACCOON begins? Me smuggling my raccoon by plane as a human baby to visit radio and television stations across Canada then back home to British Columbia. Tabasco must be the only raccoon in the world to have its face on the front pages of newspapers and magazines. 

But she also got smuggled into our ‘no pet allowed’ apartment, attended Simon Fraser University, became the mascot of the English Department,  visited schools, camped in the Rockies, paddled canoes, did shopping trips (read the story of how I dumped Tabasco into the arms of a kid in Vancouver waiting for a bus while I shopped in a nearby store that didn’t let me take her inside. 

Books are better when they have photos and illustrations to tell a story. The story of how Lorraine Kemp did the illustrations

for TABASCO THE SAUCY RACCOON is unique. She got real people to play the parts of the characters in Tabasco’s book then she drew what those real  people were doing for the book. The students AND the staff of  the school nearest her home in the Okanagan acted out the parts of the characters in Tabasco’s story and  she chose her favorites for the book. 

And now Tabasco is the only raccoon in the world with her own website…

School Presentations

Invite Lyn to your school and have her give a presentation.

Margaret Jensen, Teacher Librarian, Ladner Elementary School, BC

What a wonderful experience! Lyn started out the day with an assembly presentation to all our students between grades 1 and 7 (400 in the gym). She talked about her experiences with animals and showed slides of her encounters with animals – the children loved it! Despite the length of the session (1-hour) the children were fascinated throughout the entire presentation.Afterwards, she worked with two Intermediate (grades 4-7) at a time, running a writing workshop and focusing on descriptive words. Once again, the children were captivated! They had an opportunity to write their own ideas about “Tabasco making a mess” and were so motivated that they didn’t want to leave when their turn was over! I was particularly thrilled to see certain students, who usually are not particularly interested in writing, experiencing the thrill of putting words to paper. I think of a student who was very proud of her work but was too shy to share it herself (so Lyn read it out for her), of another who usually will print one or two words but wrote a whole paragraph, of a third who contributed a phrase that showed she has creative and inventive ideas about language despite having written output disorder. In all cases, Lyn was terrifically energetic, encouraging, and fun!

I would love to have her visit my school again, and encourage anyone who is considering an author visit with Lyn Hancock to book the visit and be ready for a fun-filled, energetic, and marvelously creative day.

Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon
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